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Schiit’s little amplifier punches method above its weight – CNET

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The Schiit Audio Aegir amp.

Lee Shelly

Image an audiophile amplifier and what do you notice? A large bruiser that hogs an excessive amount of residing area and prices a bloody fortune. Schiit Audio broke the mildew with its Aegir amp. It is small, solidly constructed and feels like a bona fide high-end amp. The fee is correct too.

The Aegir is $799 in the USA, £800 in the United Kingdom, and AU$1,299 in Australia. It looks as if a close to dual of the Schiit Vidar ($699, £700, AU$1,199), however whilst Vidar is a 100 watt in step with channel stereo amp, the more-expensive Aegir is solely 20 watts in step with channel. What is up with that?

Whilst the 2 amps seem identical, the Aegir is the extra refined design, and to my ear it sounds higher than the Vidar as much as medium loud quantity ranges. Now not everyone desires most loud, or can escape with that, so for them striking sound high quality forward of sound amount makes a large number of sense.

I am getting forward of myself. Let’s first get into the numbers. The Schiit site claims, “Aegir makes use of an unique current-feedback topology, in addition to a 100 p.c linear energy provide (with 7 separate voltage rails and 600VA transformer) and microprocessor oversight to get rid of capacitors and DC servos within the sign trail.” That is tech discuss for a moderately complex design now not most often observed in such an inexpensive amp. More uncomplicated to grasp numbers come with energy rankings of 20 watts in step with channel into eight ohms, doubling to 40 watts in step with channel into four ohms. For four or eight ohm audio system, the Aegir’s first 10 watts in step with channel are natural Class A watts, from 10 to 20 watts Schiit describes the ability as “Elegance A like” watts. Which means they do not comply with the stern definition of Elegance A designs. I haven’t any method to ensure any of that, however I can say the Aegir is the most productive sounding Schiit product I have examined.

The Schiit Audio Aegir amp’s rear panel.

Lee Shelly

If you wish to have extra oomph, purchase two Aegirs, run every one as a mono amplifier, and get 4 occasions the ability: 80 watts into eight ohm audio system.

Aegir is smaller than maximum high-end amps, an insignificant nine via 13 via three.nine inches (229x330x99mm), but it surely weighs a hefty 27 kilos (12.2 kg). Even with the Aegir’s finned warmth sinks working the entire lengths of the chassis facets, the amp runs heat to touch, so do not plan on tucking this amp away within a closed cupboard.

The amp’s rear panel hosts a collection of beefy taking a look gold-plated speaker cable binding posts, stereo RCA inputs and a unmarried XLR enter to be used when an Aegir is administered as a mono amp (the RCA inputs are handiest used for stereo operation). The entrance panel energy button toggles between standby and tool on settings.

The Aegir is not only assembled in the USA. The chassis, circuit forums, transformers, meeting, and so on. are sourced from US providers. The Aegir is bought with a 15-day house trial and a Five-year guaranty.

The Aegir is an influence amp and should be matched with a preamp. Schiit’s Jotunheim, Saga or Freya preamps might be superb companions to be used with the Aegir. Or it may be used with every other logo’s stereo preamp.

Is 20 watts in step with channel sufficient?

That is determined by how loud you pay attention, the dimensions of your room, the sensitivity of your audio system, and the song genres you experience. Giant rooms absorb extra energy than small rooms, and excessive sensitivity audio system want much less energy to play at a given quantity degree than decrease sensitivity audio system.

I cut up my Aegir listening classes between two units of audio system, the low sensitivity KEF LS50 and excessive sensitivity Klipsch Forte III audio system. Fueled via the Aegir, the LS50’s sound took on a burnished glow, with the tone richer and sweeter than I am used to. Stereo imaging used to be excellent, that is what the LS50 is understood for, however paired with the Aegir there may be extra intensity and frame to the sound of vocalists and tools on acoustic song.

Nonetheless, enjoying Wilco’s A Ghost is Born album loud used to be a distinct tale. Aegir put a lid at the dynamics and bass definition, and switching again over to the extra robust Vidar restored the song’s lifestyles. At extra average quantity degree the Aegir sounded higher, the combination spread out, and the sound of cymbals and percussion have been awesome so solution of refined main points have been published.

I additionally famous that Vidar thinned out the sound on Ethel’s (a string quartet) self-titled first album, forfeiting the strings harmonic richness I heard from the Aegir. The adaptation between the 2 amps wasn’t refined. That stated, the Vidar is via a long way the extra robust amp, and with insensitive audio system just like the LS50s enjoying loud, the merit in sound high quality shifts over to the Vidar.

With the simpler to force Klipsch Forte III audio system, the Aegir performed louder comfortably, and the sound used to be a lot livelier with saxophonist Charles Lloyd’s iconic Forest Flower LP. This song strikes gracefully with Keith Jarrett on piano, Cecil McBee on bass, and Jack DeJohnette on drums. Dynamics have been superb, so the song had actual visceral energy, and that’s the reason an extraordinary incidence with amps within the Aegir’s worth magnificence.

The Distinctiveness IIIs synergy with Aegir used to be manifest in how it sweetened the audio system sound, including a fuller and rounder tone to the song. The amp’s regulate over the Distinctiveness III’s 12-inch (305mm) woofers used to be by no means unsure, but it surely did not succeed in as forcefully into the inner most bass octaves as a $four,000 First Watt J2 amp did, and that fashion delivers simply 25 watts in step with channel! It’s going to were outclassed however the Aegir were given awfully shut for a fragment of the fee.

Schiit’s on a roll: a revised model in their Ragnarok built-in amp and the primary Schiit turntable are coming quickly. Watch this area.  

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